Phillip Phillips endured eight surgeries for chronic kidney problems during this "American Idol" season's competition, with another, more serious operation scheduled to take place soon.

Because of the pain he was suffering, the "Idol" champ said he thought about leaving the show.

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"I had some bad days, and I had some pretty good days," he said Thursday. " . . . I came close to almost dropping out to get the surgery done, but my doctors helped me out a lot."

Phillips, 21, who was crowned Season 11 champion Wednesday, has suffered from a buildup of kidney stones, his father said at the show's official after-party, People magazine reported. "Eight operations since we started 'American Idol,' " said the father, also named Phillip Phillips.

The younger Phillips now needs surgery to reconstruct his kidneys, which TMZ said Thursday would take place within seven to 10 days. Phillips said the upcoming surgery won't affect his being part of the "Idols Live" tour (which starts July 6 and comes to Nassau Coliseum on Aug. 22).

Meanwhile, Wednesday's finale was the lowest-rated in the show's history, drawing 20.7 million viewers, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen.